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(WIP = Work in Progress)

Hello, everybody!  I’ve missed you, and missed writing to you, but it has been GOGOGO here and I’ve found it hard to stop, think, and write.  Whew!  Let’s give it a try, though, because I have such pretty things to show you!

Early last week, in the midst of my sewing-planning-todoing frenzy, my partner reminded me that we were scheduled for a 2-day trip to Portland.  We’d booked this a couple of months ago around a work-related seminar that he wanted to attend, and I had completely forgotten about it.  Not an optimal time to be away from the sewing machine, but okay.  But then I checked where we were staying and discovered it was a walkable distance from SCRAP PDX!  Yep, let’s go!

So Friday morning, he went off to learn things, and I went off to find the Motherlode of Random, SCRAP PDX.  I didn’t remember to take pictures, but what a fun store!  Leather scraps!  Plastic glasses frames!  More buttons than you knew existed!

My haul:

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I think the one on the left is rayon; then there’s eyelet, some quilting fabric, and another yard of green fleece (I already have two remnants of this fabric).

Plus this, which deserves its own picture:

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It was labeled “Matisse panel,” so I immediately thought of quilt possibilities, but it’s actually a knit.  The selvage says “Matisse in Morocco” and if this isn’t summer captured in a fabric, I don’t know what is.

I also got a bag of black and white fabric scraps.  I know, I know, me BUYING scraps?!?  But I’ve had a hankering to make a black and white quilt for a while, and these were such cool fabrics I couldn’t resist.  (I don’t have a pattern in mind yet for these, but take a look at the first photo in this post; can’t you just see a skyline of Art Deco buildings all made with black and white fabrics with white sashing between the pieces?)

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A small portion of the bag, all washed and ready to go.

So that’s all my future sewing.  Let’s see how I’m doing on my current sewing projects.

The cycling jersey is coming together.

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I had hoped for a fitting session this morning, but the Resident Supermodel dashed off early . . . .

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He wanted the pockets to be different sizes, and I honestly thought it wasn’t going to work, but I love this!  The blue one is just perfectly sized for his phone, and deep enough so that it won’t fall out.

I had all kinds of problems with the front zipper on this, all of them completely my fault.  I have this frankly terrible habit of coming up with an idea on how to do something, not thinking through the whole process, and just figuring I can make it work somehow.  On the one hand, it’s great that I’ve got some confidence in my own sewing skills (finally); on the other, every time I do it, I’m aware that one of these days I’m totally going to sew myself into a corner, probably using the world’s most expensive fabric.  That didn’t happen here, but I did spend a lot of time I didn’t have making that zipper installation work.  :/

All that’s left to do is side seams, hems, finishing the collar, and redoing the front pocket–I have been informed that it needs to be half an inch deeper.  There was some mention of how nice it would be if that pocket had a zipper, but I quickly shut that ALL THE WAY DOWN.  No adding items to my to-do list at this late date!

Also, the hoodie is ready to go!

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I’ve been trying, but I haven’t been able to get a non-ghastly picture of the front, so here’s the back:

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And the side:

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Yes, I do look a little bit like an extra from “Lord of the Rings,” but I’m okay with that.

A bit of a fiddly project.  There’s some sort of problem with the pockets–the pieces don’t fit together the way they should.  I more or less forced them together, but it was another time-waster and a bit of a dispiriting way to start a new project.  And the instructions have you cut strips of your fabric, press under the long ends, and sew the strips over the seam edges on the hood, neckline, and front facing.  I do love me a nice, neat seam finish, but this kind of finish isn’t that easy to do on a knit that doesn’t press well; if I had it to do over, I would probably hunt down some wide braid and use that on the seams instead.  I suspect the lesson to be learned from this project is to not take on a Vogue pattern when time is short.

This was my first time working with ponte, and it was a lot less stable than I expected.  I keep hearing how easy ponte is to work with because it doesn’t stretch much, but this poly/rayon/Lycra ponte from Girl Charlee felt like a heavy, stretchy jersey (and had all the challenges associated with that).

Whining aside, I do love how this came out, though.  Instead of the sensible 3/4″-1″ buttons called for, I used these nifty 1 1/4″ buttons and put big snaps underneath.

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The hoodie is very comfy and cozy to wear, and I’m sure I’ll get plenty of use out of it, so that’s the important thing.

Okay, that’s it for now.  We’re off on Monday and won’t be back until August 12th.  I’m going to see if I can post some pictures as we go along.  Either way, I’ll be back mid-August with more pictures of the UK than you ever wanted to see.

I hope you’re all planning some summer adventures of your own.  Take good care of yourselves, make something that you love, and go sit in the sun when you can.

STH

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